The desire to own our homes is so ingrained, we even have a name for it: the “Great Australian Dream”. But if we are all so obsessed with buying property in this country, who is left to rent?
Strategic investors know that the most profitable property plays are all about the numbers, but the smartest investors realise that at the core of property investing, is people – specifically, the people who are paying you rent to put a roof over their heads.
I read some interesting new research that revealed exactly who the average Australian renter is: according to rent.com.au, she is a 34-year-old woman earning around $66,000 per year.
Of course, the actual rental market for your specific property depends on the location, property type and age but on the whole, these days, most Aussie renters are employed (68.4 per cent), and students account for just 6.7 per cent of the market.
As a landlord, your goal is always to attract good quality tenants and minimise vacancies, and to achieve this you need to choose property assets that have wide appeal with a number of potential tenants. To have tenants lining up to rent your real estate, I suggest you:
Learn what renters want
Thanks to the housing affordability crisis, tenants of today are in it for the long haul, so they have higher aspirations than merely a clean, safe roof over their heads. Many will want to install Pay TV and satellites, and access to high-speed internet is a given. What else makes them tick: is it off-street parking, a dishwasher, or access to public transport? How can you tailor your investment to suit their needs?
Get a champion property manager
A great property manager will not only keep the tenants happy, by attending to their maintenance issues and requests promptly, they’ll also help keep your investment afloat by undertaking thorough, regular inspections and promptly addressing repairs.
Offer stability and security
Remember that 34-year-old female I mentioned earlier? She often has a family, and tenants with kids don’t want to uproot them every 6 or 12 months and move, so offering a longer-term lease and conservative rental increases is a win-win for you both. You’ll minimise vacancy periods, and you won’t need to pay advertising or letting fees to find new tenants – and they’ll take better care of the place knowing it’s their long-term home.
Add some bonus value
Erect a shed in the garden, or install a dishwasher in the kitchen, air-con or ceiling fans in the bedrooms – anything that makes your property stand out from other similar rentals in the area. While you’re at it, attend to any maintenance issues before having prospective tenants view the place. You want a house-proud tenant who’ll take care of your investment; someone who’s willing to live in a ramshackle abode might not have the clean and tidy tendencies you’re hoping for.
Securing great tenants is key to your property investing success, because you’re ultimately handing them the keys to your kingdom. Do your best to lock in someone who treats the property as their own home, and you’re on the right track.
Philippe Brach is CEO of Multifocus Properties and Finance.
Philippe is an experienced property investment specialist, mortgage broker and author of ‘Creating Property Wealth in any Market’.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property